Coty hires former L'Oréal exec and Orveda founder Sue Y. Nabi as first female CEO

By Sarah Parsons | Published: 2-Jul-2020

The beauty industry veteran also launched Lancôme's La Vie est Belle in 2012

Coty has named former L’Oréal executive Sue Y Nabi as its new CEO, the conglomerate's third hire for the top role in 2020.

Nabi formerly spent 20 years with the French beauty brand owner, where she was the company's youngest ever Worldwide President of both L’Oréal and Lancôme.

She is best known for changing L’Oréal's iconic slogan from 'Because I’m worth it’ to the more inclusive ‘Because we’re worth it’ and championing mature consumers by hiring Jane Fonda as a brand ambassador.

At Lancôme she oversaw the launch of perfume La Vie est Belle in 2012, fronted by actress Julia Roberts; the product remains the second best-selling prestige perfume in the world.

The Algerian-born entrepreneur is also the co-founder of luxury skin care brand Orveda, with Nicholas Vu.

In an interview with Cosmetics Business in 2018, she described the beauty industry as "an industry of copycats”.

“They [brands] are always looking to each other and every time a brand does something different, especially a niche brand, others are going to copy it," she said.

“This industry has so much knowledge, power and people that they could constantly invent new things, but people are afraid to make mistakes. So the best way not to do a mistake is to try something already done, that works.”

Nabi will take over from Peter Harf as Coty's first female CEO in September.

Harf, who is a partner of Coty's majority stakeholder JAB Holdings, was hired in June as part of the company's transformation initiative and has been moved up to Executive Chairman.

“Sue is renowned as a visionary and ongoing game-changer whose outstanding creativity is celebrated in the beauty industry," said Harf.

"I am proud that she now wants to bring her unique sense of inspiration to Coty.”

Last month, in an attempt to offload struggling brands, Coty sold 60% of its professional hair and colour cosmetics business to investment firm KKR for US$4.3bn.

The brand owner has also invested in celebrity-led brands Kim Kardashian's KKW Beauty and Kylie Jenner's Kylie Cosmetics.

Coty is currently in a legal battle with Seed Beauty, which manufactures KKW Beauty and Kylie Cosmetics, over the misappropriation of trade secrets.

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